Ex-Arsenal & Real Madrid striker retires from football

EPL By: Ikponmwosa Umweni | 24/05/2019

Former Arsenal and Real Madrid striker Julio Baptista has retired from football at the age of 37, after making the announcement on his social media handle.

The Brazilian star ho won two Copa America titles and the same number in FIFA Confederations Cup but 2004 La Liga Breakthrough Player of the Year has been with struggling injuries since last year.

Baptista took his Twitter official handle to announce he is hanging his boot by saying it is time to start a new life: "After more than 20 years in the football elite, it is time to step aside and announce that I have decided to end my career as a player,” 

"I want to show my gratitude to all those who have made it possible for me to fulfil my dream. Thank you all,” he added.

Baptista, who began his career as a defensive midfielder with Sao Paulo in 2000, had spells with Sevilla, Real Madrid, Arsenal, Roma, Malaga, Cruzeiro, Orlando City and CFR Cluj.

He won the Spanish league title with Real Madrid in 2008, a year after spending time on loan at the Emirates, where he netted 10 times in 35 matches and he also won 47  for Brazil, the last playing for his country at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.